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Retirement Planning

If you are recently retired or are planning your retirement, you are likely to have a number of questions. The first step is to make an appointment with the provost and dean of the faculty. We, as well as the Office of Human Resources, welcome the opportunity to meet with you to help with the planning process.

Katherine Rowe

Provost and Dean of the Faculty

Patricia DiBartolo

Associate Dean of the Faculty/Dean for Academic Development

Tina Benoit

Human Resources Specialist

Emeriti Advisory Committee

In planning for retirement, faculty members often have questions about their opportunities and choices for shaping the next phase of their intellectual careers.

  • Mark Aldrich, Professor Emeritus, Government
  • Lâle Burk, Senior Lecturer Emerita, Chemistry
  • Jefferson Hunter, Professor Emeritus, English Language & Literature
  • Mary Murphy, Senior Lecturer Emerita, Mathematics & Statistics
  • William Oram, Professor, English Language & Literature
  • Tom Riddell, Professor Emeritus, Economics
  • Patricia DiBartolo, Associate Dean of the Faculty/Dean for Academic Development, chair

What To Do a Year (or Earlier) Before Retirement

We assume that you have already talked with the provost/dean of the faculty and human resources about your plans to retire. The following are some key steps to keep in mind during this time of transition.

1. Meet with Retirement Vendor

We recommend meeting with your retirement vendor for an individual consultation. More information about one-on-one counseling sessions is available on the Human Resources website.

2. Benefit from Complimentary Financial Advising

Many people don’t know that if your combined assets are above a certain amount (about $500,000), you may qualify for a financial adviser free of charge. Advisers can help you understand the most tax-advantaged ways to receive income and assist in filling out forms.

3. Contact the Social Security Office

Talk to the Social Security Office in Holyoke (413-563-3649) to set up your payments. You also need to sign up for Medicare B and Medicare Part D (the prescription drug plan) to start as soon as you are no longer on the Smith health plan.

4. Explore Health Insurance Options

Human resources cannot counsel individual retirees on healthcare options. Post-retirement health insurance options include Medicare, but Medicare isn’t free and you will likely want to have supplementary insurance as well. Smith recommends one post-retirement health care plan: Benistar. This plan requires immediate sign-on upon retirement; there is no possibility of joining the plan later. Many retirees find Serving the Health Information Needs of Elders (SHINE) useful. SHINE offices are located in Northampton at the Senior Center on Conz Street (413-587-1228); there are also offices in Greenfield, Montague and Florence. Useful information is available on the SHINE website.

5. Consider Long-Term Care Insurance

Consider long-term care insurance. Although it likely isn't necessary for everyone and is expensive, some people may find it beneficial in affording health care as they age.

Once you have gone through your materials and packed them, your academic assistant can help you submit all internal work orders, and student workers may be available to help you pack. Smith will arrange and pay for moving books and any office furniture to your new office or house or for donations. Contact the provost's office for more details.



The College Archives is interested in acquiring your papers: class notes, official Smith correspondence, professional correspondence, letters from old students, even appointment books. They will provide boxes and send someone to pick them up. Contact Nanci Young, the college archivist, at or 413-585-2976.


The Smith College Libraries may accept some of your books. Gift-in-kind donations must meet the same criteria as those used to select current purchases; they should be scholarly works published within the last two to three years and not already held in the libraries. Other kinds of materials may be accepted. For guidelines and procedures, please see Giving to the Libraries. Consult with your department's subject liaison for more information.


Many organizations sponsor donations of books and journals to colleges and universities, and some local bookstores will buy selected used academic books they think they can sell.

  • Newly retired faculty members may retain their private faculty offices for one year following their retirement date if they notify the provost's office.
  • At the end of the year, newly retired faculty members will be offered a shared office, depending on the need and purpose of the space (the space survey will be used to gather this information).
  • Emeriti faculty members in shared offices may use the space for a three-year period, after which another review of space needs will take place.
  • Emeriti faculty members may be approved to continue use of a shared office for additional three-year terms, depending on the results of the space needs review.
  • If an office is available, you are entitled to take your Smith computer and phone (and phone number) to your new office. ITS will help you network your computer in your new location.

Emeriti Lounge

The Emeriti Lounge, located in Tilly Hall, is a place where retirees can gather informally.

Annual Survey

The provost’s office will send you an annual survey. The survey will enable the college to keep up with your research, service and scholarly activities. It also ensures that we have your correct contact information and helps to determine office availability. The surveys are sent out in August; please continue to fill them out.